Janome QMP18 and QMP16 longarm quilting: Using Pro Stitcher to quilt a “wonky” Block

Ok, raise your hand if you are a perfect piecer. I’ll wait haha. (….crickets…)  We all make imperfections while piecing. Maybe our 1/4″ is slightly off. Or our fabric stretched, or “sucked in” too much while pressing. The point is, at times we all will have blocks that are inconsistent with each other, even after they are trimmed and pressed and sewn into a completed top. This can be very frustrating during the quilting process, especially if we are custom quilting it using the Janome Quiltmaker Pro Longarm with ProStitcher.  I’d like to walk you through how to quilt that wonky block, using the ProStitcher software.

For the purposes of this tutorial, I drew the wonkiest block I could on the black fabric. I really wanted you to be able to see that it’s out of alignment.


It’s really out of whack lol. Most of the time when you are quilting your quilts, the blocks that are out of sync with the rest of your quilt top aren’t going to be that bad. But they will be noticeable if you are trying to fit a quilting design into that block and it’s not straight or lined up properly. So what do you do? Using these simple steps, you can make a wonky block look perfect.

In Pro Stitcher on the tablet of your Jnaome Quiltmaker Por longarm, tap on the ‘Area’ tab. Move the needle to the top left corner of your wonky block, and tap ‘Multi-point’. Continue this process until you have created an area that is the same as your wonky block.

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You may ask yourself, why do I do this? Why can’t I just fiddle with the design until it’s how I like it? Well, the short answer is ‘yes you can fiddle with it’. But really, there is a better and much easier way to ensure exact placement of your design on your quilt. Creating an area tells Pro Stitcher where you want the quilting to be. Otherwise, it may start stitching way over on the left side where you have a beautiful applique that you really didn’t want to stitch over.


Once you have your area, you can open your chosen design. I like to use this leaf design to illustrate how it works. As you can see in the picture below, the design does not fit in the block.

Screenshot (284)

In Pro Stitcher, there are always multiple ways to manipulate designs and layouts so that you can work with the software the way that you personally want to. So I could use the ‘Transform’ function and play with the design manually. Using the blue boxes on the edges, I could click and drag to my heart’s content (and probably use up an hour of my quilting time too!).

Screenshot (285)

However, there is a better way that fits that design into your area with a few taps. I’d like to introduce you to my friend “Skew”.  She lives under the ‘Modify’ tab,  and is the second to last tool on the options ribbon. When you tap ‘Modify’, then ‘Skew’, you’ll find three options come up on the right sidebar area, like this:

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Using the sidebar, you can try either of the Skew options to see which one fits your design the best into the selected area.

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Skew 1 is not the option I’m looking for. I want that leaf design to go all the way into the corners of my block.

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Skew 2 is what I’m looking for. It manipulated the design to reach each corner of my block. Yay!

The “Skew” tool is one that I use over and over again while quilting on the Janome Quiltmaker Pro. It makes custom quilting so much easier, because I can simply mark the area using the needle, open the design, and fit it into my wonky block. But how does it look in real life? I know you are dying to know! Click here to watch my YouTube video!


The actual stitch out of the leaf design inside my wonky block

I hope you’ve learned something today, and I also hope that you’ve been inspired to visit your local dealer to see the Janome QMP!

Until next time,



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Is your Christmas Wish List ready?

We published this Janome Holiday flyer last month but in case you missed it, here it is again…….we strongly recommend you get your Christmas Wish list ready real soon if you want Santa to bring your favorite sewing goodies this Christmas! Your local Janome Canada Dealer will be happy to answer your questions, show you these holiday specials and order anything you might need in time for Christmas. But hurry as there are just 17 shopping days left!!

I know a special little girl who asked that Santa please bring her a sewing machine just like her Nanna’s. She stipulated clearly it was not to be a toy, “I want a real sewing machine so please make sure Santa knows which one I want!” Do you have special little people who are venturing into the world of sewing and who deserve a Janome sewing machine to enable them to realize their creativity? I sure do and I just cannot wait to see her little 9 year old face shine with joy as she opens the box of her first very own REAL sewing machine – a Janome, of course! I The joy of showing her all the cool features and feet awaits……… It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas around here!

Maybe you already have the Janome sewing machine of your dreams?   But possibly it is time to consider that serger or coverhem machine you have been thinking about?


OR possibly you need some optional feet and/or the Janome Presser foot Workbook?

OR one or both of our Janome Sew Comfortable cushions?

What about a Madeira thread chest packed full of what we like to call sewing “candy”? Or one of our many Madeira thread sets?

We have a whole range of Janome, Madeira and Hilos Iris Thread boxes and chests like the ones above – in cotton and polyester thread types – for quilting, sewing and embroidery.

What about one of our Daylight lamps to make your sewing bright on these dark winter days…..we have a whole range of these fabulous lights.

These incredibly comfortable Arrow sewing chairs are hydraulic and will have you “scooting” around your sewing room in style and comfort…….and I just LOVE the “secret” storage compartment in the seat plus the range of fabric colours and styles to choose from. You will hardly know which one to choose!

We are now stocking the really well made and pre-assembled sewing cabinets from Kangaroo – we even include the cutest little Kangaroo stuffie! We have a whole range of these Kangaroo cabinets with various configurations and nifty storage options…….ask your local Janome Canada Dealer for more information.

SEW much to see….SEW much to sew…..SEW much for Santa to bring! See your local Janome Canada dealer for help in choosing the perfect gift.

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Making a Bag on the new M7.

What do you do when the clouds are pouring liquid sunshine?

Create something cool on your new sewing machine.

I just received this in the mail and was really excited to make myself a new bag. June Tailor’s concept is a great combination of paper piecing and quilting as you go.

So, I sat down at my new Janome Continental M7 sewing machine with a batik jelly roll of fabric and some lemonade and got started on my Alexandra Tote Bag.

This Janome HP2 foot is awesome. Precision sewing with a walking foot.

This screen is so clear and easy to navigate. Offers information on  everything you need to know from on screen help and info to a unique and brand new QR code on the screen – with the free Janome AcuSpark app on your Apple or Android smart phone or tablet, you get  even more information to make your sewing a breeze! It is like having an electronic manual which goes automatically to the correct page when you hold your phone or tablet up to the Janome Continental M7 screen. The AcuSpark App scans the applicable code in the bottom right corner of the screen. 

For creating this bag these buttons are terrific: locking stitches; using the needle up/down function; cutting threads automatically and using the presser foot lift button. SEW easy! 

My favorite is the locking stitch button to start and finish each piece.

The throat space is amazing. It allows me to have my bag lay flat out and not bunched up as I sew. The bright lights are a great addition. Everything is so clear And easy to see. 

As you can see, going through a lot of layers isn’t an issue for the Janome Contintental M7. This is due to the great new improvements Janome has brought to this model: a brushless motor; separate motor on the Acufeed flex PLUS foot ( walking foot) which drives the upper feed dogs; new higher and sharper feed dogs for feeding fabric and more. 

Four layers of batik fabric and 2 layers of batting…no problem.

I decided to neaten  the raw edges inside the bag with an overcasting stitch and the nifty Overcasting foot: I quickly changed feet and put this included foot on.

This gave me a serged like finish. So neat as well as easy to achieve. 

I upped the stakes and sewed through 6 layers of batik fabric, 3 layers of batting and 2 layers of webbing. It sewed through like a hot knife through butter. It was awesome!

Now I have a beautiful bag to take on my holiday.

What a great way to spend an afternoon! 

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What’s going to be under your tree this Christmas?

Do you love to use your Janome presser feet whether they are feet and attachments which came included with your Janome machine or are optional accessories? Then you may well want to add some to your Christmas Wish List to find under your tree on Christmas morning? 

Not sure which ones you want? Here is a link to our Accessory catalogue

http://www.janome.ca/siteassets/learn/accessory-guide-bilingual.pdf AND Did you know that Janome offers a series of workbooks and addendums to understand and operate our machine feet and accessories to the max? Please see info below on what is available for you to purchase so that you can use your Janome machines and accessories with ease. All of these workbooks are available from your local Janome Canada Dealer. But hurry as they won’t last long during this holiday season! 


Janome Presser Foot Workbook

The Janome Accessory Presser Foot Workbook: This fully illustrated book will give you a comprehensive overview of Janome’s presser feet. It is written in an easy-to-follow lesson format and includes helpful hints throughout its contents. Janome is sure that this book will be a useful tool for beginner to advanced sewers. The Presser Foot Workbook comes with pages that are bound in a 3 ring binder with a cover page and spine inserts. This workbook contains helpful information on the following: 
Blind Hem Foot G
Button Sewing Foot T
Automatic Buttonhole foot R
Even Feed Foot
Overedge Foot M
Rolled Hem Foot D
Satin Stitch Foot F
Zig-zag Foot A
Zipper Foot E

There are several addendums to the presser foot Workbook which are all available separately as we know you may or may not own the applicable Janome Machine models compatible with these feet – so we sell them separately so you can choose the ones applicable to your needs. Janome Presser Foot Workbook Binders and Guides Addendum

The Presser Foot Workbook Binders and Guides addendum. 56 pages on all the optional accessories that deal with bindings and sewing guides. *Binder not included. This is an addendum and is printed and sold in a cellophane package with the intention you will add it to the Presser foot Workbook binder or another binder of your choice. 
This workbook contains helpful information on these accessories:
Binder Feet
Binder Attachment
Border Guide Foot FB
Clear View 1/4″ Foot OM
Clear View Quilting Foot and Guide Set OV
Edge Guide Foot SE
1/4 Inch Seam Foot O
Rotary Even Foot
Sliding Guide Foot SG

 Janome Coverpro Accessories Workbook Addendum
The Janome Coverpro Accessories Addendum is another supplement to the Presser foot Workbook.  This Coverpro Accessories addendum contains 21 pages filled with information on accessories used your Coverpro machine. Learn everything you need to know to sew like a pro on your Coverpro. 
Center Guide Foot
Clear View Cover Stitch Foot
Elastic Gathering Attachment
Hem Guide Type 1
Hem Guide Type 2
Adjustable Seam Guide
Tape Binder Set
*Please note – This is an addendum. Binder not included.

Presser Foot Workbook Free Motion Quilting Addendum

This addendum or supplement to the Janome Presser Foot Workbook covers multiple free motion feet and options for every Janome sewing machine. This addendum includes 35 additional pages meant to be added to the original Presser Foot Workbook with information on all the optional and standard accessories you would use for free motion sewing and quilting across the spectrum of machines in the Janome machine line up. Written in an easy to follow lesson format with tips and color pictures, it is full of information to help you choose the best tools and techniques to make your creativity shine.
This workbook contains helpful information on these accessories:
Convertible Free Motion Feet:
QB-L (Low Shank), QB-H (High Shank), QB-S (9mm)
Darning Foot PD-H
Free Motion Couching Foot Set
Low Tension Bobbin Holder
Ruler Work Foot QR For Horizon Memory Craft 15000
Snap On Free Motion Feet

Janome Specialty Feet Workbook Addendum
Janome’s Specialty Presser Foot Workbook is a supplement to Janome’s Presser Feet Workbook. This specialty foot addendum contains 77 pages filled with information on standard and optional accessories used in specialty sewing and quilting Learn everything you need to know to sew and quilt like a professional on your Janome Machine.
This workbook contains helpful information on these accessories:
3-Way Cording Foot H
Appliqué Foot AP
Beading Foot Narrow Groove L1 and Wide Groove L2
Buttonhole Stabilizer Plate
Circular Sewing Attachment
Concealed Zipper Foot Z
Flower Stitching Attachment
Fringe foot
Gathering Foot V
Pintucking Foot Wide N1 and Narrow N2 and Pintucking Cord Guides
Piping Foot l
Ribbon/Sequin Foot RS
Ribbon Sewing Guide
Roller Foot
Ruffler Attachment RF
Straight Stitch Foot ST
Transparent Buttonhole Foot B
Ultraglide Foot U and Ultraglide Needle Plate
Zipper Foot – Adjustable Narrow Base
*Please note – This is an addendum, Binder not included.

There is a NEW workbook for the optional accessory presser feet suitable for the Janome Air Thread serger – our AT2000D.  

If you already have a workbook, you may order any of the the addendums. If you do not have any of these binders, You may wish to purchase the binder shown at the top of this post and then add to it any addendums you require. Please note that all of these documents are in English only. There are also many pictures that clearly illustrate the operation to be performed.

There is also a NEW workbook for the Janome MC9450. This covers much more than the presser feet for this machine but I wanted to mention that it is now in stock in Canada. Many of you have asked and we unfortunately had to wait as the first shipment was sold out. The Education Dept did not get one before they sold out hence I dont have a photo here BUT I’m happy to let you know that more of these workbooks will be arriving very soon so you might wnat to add it to your wish list and ask your local Janome Dealer to be sure that Santa has one to put under your tree!  

Visit any Authorized Janome dealer in your area to order these Janome workbooks and addendums.

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Sewing bags with the Janome HD9 Professional

As the owner and designer of Blue Calla Patterns, I have always received questions related to sewing machines suitable for bag making. Since receiving my Janome HD9 professional machine, I have been inundated with questions regarding this machine and how well it performs when it comes to making bags and purses. This blog post is the perfect opportunity to address some of those questions!

The most frequently asked questions are regarding the strength of the machine when sewing through thick layers, the types of thread it can handle, presser foot height and finally, the recommended attachments for bag making. 

Is this machine capable of sewing through thick layers?

Yes, definitely. I have tried many comparable machines and this machine does not hesitate when sewing through thick layers. You must remember that it’s always important to use the right type of needle for the type of fabric you are using but when done correctly, I have never had an issue or a broken needle. The motor does not sound like it is struggling. 

To illustrate, I created a “layer sandwich” which consists of 2 layers of 10-ounce waxed cotton canvas, 2 layers of cork fabric and 2 layers of foam interfacing.

For my test, I used a thicker thread – Tex 75 or a 40 wt. in both the bobbin and my top thread. The machine was threaded using the heavy weight threading guide and I had my stitch length set to 5. 

The stitch length remained consistent and the machine had no issues. I have sewn through this many layers and more when topstitching bags – especially at the side seams.

What kind of thread can I use?

When making bags, it is important to always use 100% polyester thread unless you are sewing with leather. With the Janome HD9, you can use the same weight in both the bobbin and your top thread. 

There is no need to use a regular weight thread in the bobbin because the Janome HD9 was designed to work with heavier thread. The larger bobbin size is fantastic for holding more thread – even with heavier thread weights. 

There are 3 different thread weights I use with the Janome

  • 100 wt. thread or Tex 30 which is considered regular weight thread (left)
  • 40 wt. or Tex 75, also known as upholstery thread (middle)
  • 30 wt. or  Tex 100, also known as topstitching thread (right)

My default needle type when using a regular weight thread is a Sharp size 90/14 (seen on the left in the photo above). I find this needle goes through everything including cork and vinyl/faux leather fabric. 

When using heavier thread, I tend to use a topstitch needle size 90/14 or 100/16 (on the right in the photo) which has a much larger eye and reduces the chances of your thread shredding.

If you are sewing with leather, make sure you use a leather needle!

The topstitching in the photo above shows all 3 thread weights. 

How many layers can I get under the presser foot?

At first glance, it may look like you can’t get much under the presser foot but if you gently pull up on the presser foot lever, you can get up to ½” of height under the foot.

I used the same “layer sandwich” from above which has a height of ½”. By gently lifting on the presser foot lever, I was able to get the presser foot slightly higher and fit this thickness underneath.

What are the most important presser foot attachments I will need for bag making?

There are 3 attachments that I use with the HD9: the Straight Stitch foot which I use 90% of the time, the UltraGlide Foot which I use when topstitching vinyl and faux leather and the Adjustable Zipper foot for zipper installations. 


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Christmas Stockings

6DF5C20F-2AEB-4229-95FE-964EC2CEB952The countdown is on to the holidays but there’s still plenty of time to get in some festive sewing projects.

This pattern has been on my to-do list for a while. It was a hand-me-down from my Aunt who loved the idea of it but never got around to working on this project. I, of course, naturally gravitated towards the adorable dog in this pattern.


I’ve been a fan of paper piecing for a while. I think for me one of the stumbling blocks to starting a project is prepping and cutting all your fabrics. With paper piecing, you still cut out fabric, but there aren’t precise measurements – pieces that are bigger than needed for the section you are working on are always a safer bet.

Once you get the swing of paper piecing, you can finish certain projects in a rather timely manner.

The trick with paper piecing that has always messed with my head is that your project comes together the reverse of what the pattern initially looks like. I traced this pattern on to a plain piece of paper so I can use the pattern over again.


There are three sections to this pattern (A, B, C) and you piece together each section separately and then sew them together.

There are many in-depth tutorials for paper piecing, but the abbreviated version is:

  1. Secure your first piece of fabric (usually labeled “1” on your pattern piece) wrong sides together to your pattern piece (so the wrong side of your fabric to the back of your pattern) completely covering section “1” with enough overlap to ensure you have at least a 1/4 inch border.


In this case, I used a white fabric for section 1 and it didn’t matter which was the right side and which was the wrong side, but if you have a two sided fabric, it will matter – it will matter very much! Some people use a dab from a glue stick to keep it secure to the pattern. I use a straight pin and then remove it once I’ve sewn the next few sections.

2. Next you will follow the paper piece pattern numerically. Look for section “2.” Fold over the paper on the line between 1 and 2. Use a 1/4 inch ruler and trim any excess fabric from section 1.


3. Then take your fabric for section 2, place it right sides together with your fabric from section 1, and line it up with the fabric so is a 1/4 inch longer than the line between section 1 and 2. I usually hold it in place but you can also secure it with a pin.

4. With your pattern facing up so you can see various sections, stitch along the line between section 1 and 2.

5. Press open the piece you were just working on.

6. Repeat these steps by going to the line between section 2 and 3 and folding back to trimming, then securing a new piece of fabric. And so on, and so on…

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As you work away, every time you press open your new section of fabric it reveals a part of the design on the back of your paper pattern!


Once each of the sections were complete, I was able to piece them together forming the front of my Christmas stocking.

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The rest of the assembly included adding some batting to the front and back pieces and quilting.

I used some Maderia gold thread on some of the quilting I did on the front of my stocking. This Maderia metallic is a fabulous weight and didn’t require any adjustments to the tension on my Janome Skyline S9 sewing machine.


I love the look of metallic thread. This is Madeira metallic thread. Ask your local Janome Canada dealer about the full range of Madeira threads and stabilizers that Janome Canada distributes – polyneon, cotona, aeroquilt, aerolock ,aeroflock, thread boxes, mini chests, stabilizers of every type ……and more. Ed. 


I pieced together the front and back of my stocking and now just need to finish off the eyes and nose on my puppy and it’s ready for hanging.

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Is it too soon to hang up Christmas stockings?

060E6755-01D4-48DC-B83A-EAB83B409CABDo you do any holiday sewing? Do you sew decor items for the holidays or focus more on sewing gifts? What sewing project are you working on right now?

Posted in JANOME PROJECT IDEA, Janome Skyline S9 | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Coverpro 2000CPX: Decorative Stitching on Athletic Wear

If you’ve ever looked closely at a rtw piece of Athletic Wear, one of the first things you notice is all the fancy stitching along the seamlines. These decorative stitches help define athletic wear.

High quality athletic knit fabrics are primarily composed of synthetic fibers such as spandex, nylon, and polyester, but some natural fabrics such as bamboo are also available. These types of fabrics have excellent stretch and recovery, but that often frightens people away from making their own athletic wear. Simply go slow and use your clips abundantly to help the fabrics stay where you need them to.

decorative stitching via coverstitch 2000cpx

Your Janome Coverpro 2000CPX is your one stop shop to finishing your garments professionally: it hems, understitches, topstitches, and provides a decorative reverse stitch.

Before you have finished serging your athletic wear, in my case, athletic shorts, be sure to leave the inner leg seam unfinished. You’ll need to be able to lay your item flat to comfortably run it through the Janome Coverpro2000cpx. If you do serge the inner seam, you’ll be trying to coverstitch seams through a small leg hole causing your fabric to bunch, but more likely, simply not fit through the machine.

Since the Janome Coverpro2000cpx can be used with two needles or three, make some samples out of both to determine which stitching you prefer. I always prefer the 3 needle stitch so my machine is set up using all 4 spools of thread.

Starting on a scrap piece of fabric to create chain prior to starting your garment.

When starting or finishing, use a scrap piece of fabric to run through the machine, with your garment lined up right behind it. This gives you the ability to check the stitch settings prior to applying it to your garment, as well as making it easier and eliminating the worry of threads unraveling at the beginning and end of your seam. It makes your work cleaner and smoother.

Since the decorative stitches are meant to showcase the seamwork of your garment, remember that the right side, or outside, of your piece needs to be face down; your needles will be piercing through your serged seam which can be used as your guide. I iron my serged seam to one side and line my middle needle up to stitch in the ditch while coverstitching. This provides me a guide to keep my stitch line straighter and brings balance to the coverstitch on the outside on both sides of the seams.

3 Needle Coverstitich. Middle needle lined up with Serged edge.

The other main point to consider prior to using your Janome Coverpro2000cpx is the order in which you’ll be sewing the seams. Depending on the construction of your garment, you may need to serge & coverstitch in succession to make a more professional end garment; such as serging then coverstitching your shoulder seam prior to serging and coverstitching your arms sleeves on.

decorative curved side seam

Once you’re completed coverstitching over each of the seam lines on your pattern, you will have a professionally finished garment that looks exactly like RTW. Using your Coverpro2000CPX is fast & easy and adds that something extra special. This variegated pink thread adds contrast and excitement to a solid coloured garment.

Leg seam line intersecting with coverstitched hem

Now go enjoy decorative stitching all your garments!

Posted in JANOME CPX COVERPRO SERGER | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Janome Essential RE18 hoop………Add to your Christmas wish list??

This little zipper pouch was made exclusively IN THE HOOP of our Janome embroidery machine(s). Our thanks to Anne Hein of Janome America who digitized these little in-the-hoop baggies above and below.

We have been doing hands-on classes across Janome Canada this Fall.  Some of the projects we were making in these classes are in-the-hoop projects……clever Janome “On the Go” zipper baggies where everything including the zipper is stitched in the hoop (see pics above). We are also offering the Divide and Conquer hands-on class where we stitch out a jellyfish design digitized with our Artistic Digitizer software  (see pics below) and then we sew up our jellyfish embroidery into a zipper pouch using our brand new BIG Janome Continental M7 Professional.

Why am I telling you this? Well, we have an embroidery hoop for the Janome Horizon MC15000  which is just perfect for these projects. This same Janome RE18 hoop is compatible with the Janome Horizon MC12000 as well. The SQ14 hoop may be too small and the SQ23 hoop may be too big. The Janome Essential RE 18 hoop is just right……..just like in the “Goldilocks and the 3 bears” fairy tale! This rectangular hoop is very close in size to the popular 5×7 inch hoop and is an optional accessory hoop which you might like to consider purchasing from your local Janome dealer if you don’t already have this hoop. At our recent Janome Consumer seminar in Ontario on the Hidden Secrets of the MC15000, these RE hoops sold out! It is a very useful and practical size and comes with a USB stick with 50 bonus designs to embroider (many of which are really fun designs). For more information about this hoop, click on this link. Your local Janome dealer will be able to order it for you if they don’t already have it in stock at their store.

Note: this Essential RE18 hoop is only compatible with Janome Horizon MC15000 and Janome Horizon MC12000. However, there is an optional RE hoop for the Janome MC11000 and some other Janome embroidery machines have the B hoop which is very close in size to the hoop we are talking about today.

Of course, you can always use bigger hoops on our Janome Horizon embroidery machines (like the SQ23 or GR hoops) or the similar size hoops the Janome Skyline S9; Janome MC500E or the NEW Janome MC550E. These will work but you may need to use a larger piece of stabilizer than really necessary for your smaller design. You can tear away and save bits of the stabilizer for other projects after your embroidery has been completed. However, I do think that is a bit of a waste when there is an option for using a smaller hoop and less stabilizer.

We always recommend using the smallest hoop to fit your design as that offers the most stable hooping option for your embroidery…….and therefore a better and more successful stitch-out of the embroidery design. Don’t waste time and embroidery supplies  – do it properly the first time!

We also recommend using your hoop magnets when hooping on all hoops which accommodate these magnets. You will regret taking “short cuts” if your fabric and/or stabilizer slips slightly and your embroidery stitch out is not as perfect as you would have liked. That can be a dreadful waste of time, thread, stabilizer and fabric – something we all strive to avoid! We all probably know this but it is nonetheless good to be reminded of the basics.

So having this extra optional rectangular hoop for the Janome Horizon MC12000 or MC15000 is a big help for stable hooping and using less stabilizer and/or fabric. You will discover that it is indeed a very useful size hoop!


  1. What if my fabric is not big enough to hoop? Then just hoop your stabilizer, spray with a little fabric adhesive and lay your fabric over the slightly sticky hooped stabilizer. Press gently to smooth and adhere. Before starting to embroider the design, baste the fabric to the stabilizer using the wonderful baste function if your Janome embroidery machine has this function. (most current Janome models do have this function)
  2. What if my stabilizer is not big enough to be hooped? I’m tempted to say that perhaps it is time to visit your local Janome dealer to see if they stock our recently introduced range of MADEIRA stabilizers! But if you are in a bit of a “pinch” and don’t have enough stabilizer to fit your hoop, you can tape or glue pieces together (not really recommended) OR you could hoop your fabric only and slide the smaller piece of stabilizer under the hoop. It is a good idea to use a little tape to secure the stabilizer to the back of the hoop to avoid it slipping or folding.
  3. Do you hoop both stabilizer and fabric every time you embroider?  This is not necessary and, in fact, I do this very seldom. I far prefer to use the hooping method in #1 above: only hoop the stabilizer and baste the fabric to that before embroidery. This way the fabric does not get stretched or damaged with “hoop burn” and the whole hooping process is SO much easier.  I use the magnets on the hooped stabilizer and not on the fabric laying somewhat loosely around the edges. The basting, however,  holds the fabric in place just fine. As mentioned above, you can  use a little spray glue as an extra precaution although this is not essential. Did you know we have a great low VOC fabric adhesive spray called Artistic Tack?  VOC refers to potentially damaging chemicals in the spray glue – our product has a low level of these (less than 30%).  See this link. 

2018-02-22_13-32-23Have you added the Janome Essential RE18 hoop and Artistic Tack to your Christmas Wish List? ……..go on – you won’t be sorry!

Posted in Janome Embroidery | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Skipped Stitches Solutions Part 3

In this final installment of tips and tricks to prevent and eliminate skipped and wonky stitches, we’ll literally get to the bottom of the issue and look at the bobbin and bobbin holder of your machine. Please review my previous posts, Part 1 and Part 2 for more solutions to eliminate skipped stitches.

$red dot bobbin case

I can’t tell you the number of times people have come to me for assistance with their machine; it’s not sewing right, the stitches are ugly; their dealer sold them a “lemon”, only to discover that the bobbin was inserted backwards. It’s ok, it happens. We’re all in a hurry; we don’t always get to sew everyday; you’re new to sewing, so it’s easy to forget how to properly set up the machine.

Your instruction manual is an invaluable resource of information as not all Janome machines load the bobbin in the same manner.

For all drop-in models, a quick, easy way to remember which way the bobbin goes into the holder is to think of the letter “P”. Hold your bobbin or place it down on the table so the thread coming off the bobbin forms the tail of the letter “P”.


Machines with front loading “Vertical Oscillating Hooks”, however, like the Janome HD 1000, and the New Home Janome Blue Couture, for example, load the bobbin in a separate bobbin case with the thread coming off the top of the bobbin clockwise. Again, please consult your instruction manual, and your fabulous Janome dealer for more information.

Take a look at the bobbin itself. Is it an authentic Janome “J” bobbin? Did it come with the machine, or from an authorized Janome dealer? If so, you can be sure it’s the real deal. Janome bobbins may look like others, but only real Janome bobbins have a special rubberized compound in them which reduces noise and stops excessive spinning and backlash when sewing and stopping at high speeds. Sure, other bobbins may appear to fit and work, but they won’t produce the same stitch quality as when using authentic Janome “J” bobbins. The cool thing is that virtually all Janome machines use the same bobbin, regardless of model or price point.  Also cool is that Janome has packages of pre-wound bobbins in white and black, so you get a reusable bobbin whenever the bobbin is empty. You can never have too many!

Your machine instruction manual will also mention how to clean the bobbin area, and I believe pretty-much every, or nearly every, Janome machine comes with a little lint brush for this purpose.

You can see in the photo below that my machine is obviously due for a cleaning,  though the new Janome Continental M7P has a built-in reminder to clean the bobbin area every 5 hours. With my crazy schedule, I need all the help I can get – lol!


Getting to the bobbin area is SUPER fast and easy, so I had to record a quick video to share.

Sorry, I don’t mean to show off, but, you’ve got to admit, that’s pretty slick! lol!

However you access the bobbin area of your machine, there’s no hard and fast rule as to how often you should clean in there. It depends on the time spent, and frequency you sew, but also with what you sew. Flannels, fleece, 100% cotton thread, for example, will all produce more lint than a synthetic fabric, or leather sewn with polyester thread, so you would need to clean more frequently. The more you keep the bobbin area clean, the better. You can’t over-clean! It’s surprising how a bit of lint trapped in the bobbin holder can throw-off otherwise beautiful stitching which was perfect a second ago. Our first inclination is to blame the machine, but a little undercover work often solves the mystery.

I’d love to share a video of the extreme; what can happen inside your machine without regular servicing by an authorized Janome service technician. I think skipped stitches were likely the least of this owner’s issues, lol!

This video is courtesy of Mike Damour, from Gem Sewing, our Janome dealer in New Liskeard, Ontario. In addition to being the owner/ dealer, Mike is also an authorized service technician, so he comes to the rescue when all the other tips and tricks I’ve shared do not resolve stitching woes. If you ran over a pin, broke a needle and it jammed in the machine, for example, you’re best to take your machine back to your dealer to have it inspected. The timing could be off, or the bobbin holder could be damaged, which will also result in skipped or wonky stitches, so truly leave that diagnosis and those steps to correct to the professionals.

There you have it. Have I missed anything? What are YOUR tips and tricks for solving the dreaded Skipped Stitch? We love hearing your feedback!

Now, go clean your bobbin area, lol! Happy Sewing!

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ARTISTIC DIGITIZER : Layer and edit shapes.


Digitizing with the built in shapes can sometimes be easier than using the auto digitizing features of Artistic Digitizer.  I want to create a simple egg shaped face.  When I told the program to use the vector drawing I had on my computer,  the results were not what I expected.  The image was not clear enough for the program to convert it into a stitch file.

egg not clear

Image not clear enoughSince this little face is easy enough to manual punch, I decided to use the shape tools to create a similar look.

Open the program and select the ‘create new’ option from the opening screen.  The worktable will open with a blank area so you can draw your own design.  Since this is simple enough I can just use the shape tools to create it without having to trace the image.  Click on the shapes tool icon on the toolbar at the left and then select the ‘ellipse’ shape from the fly out menu.

shapes ellipse

Move the cursor over to the worktable area and click/hold/drag/release a shape onto the area.   Click on the selection tool slection tooland then click on the shape to select it.  Now use the paint bucket to color the egg the shape you want and remove the outline edge stitch by clicking on the X next tot he pencil in the lower left side of the screen.

color tools delete outline

colored egg

With the design selected, click on the fill properties on the right side of the screen and select a textured fill stitch for the shape.pattern fill

NOTE:  You may need to zoom in to see the pattern fill on your shape.  Pattern/textured stitches always show up better on light colored stitch objects.

zoom texture

Zoom in to see texture stitches

Continue building your design using the shapes layering the objects one on top of the other and coloring them so they stand out in contrast to the background stitches.  Make your design as silly as you wish.

egg silly

Notice how the layers applied automatically removed layers underneath to reduce the bulk in the layers of stitches.  This is an auto setting in Artistic Digitizer and can be seen at the bottom of the properties box on the right side of the screen.

egg hole sewing


remove overlap setting

Spend time creating designs by using the easy shape tools built into the Artistic Digitizer program.  You may choose to bring in an image into the background to use the shapes or simply create playing with shapes only.





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